Unhappy that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling upholding the Texas law Wendy Davis opposed that was responsible for closing abortion clinics in the Lone Star State, abortion activists have filed a second lawsuit.
In November, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia issued an opinion indicating the Supreme Court would not yet get involved in a case that has abortion facilities there appealing a law that has closed numerous abortion clinics that can’t protect women’s health.
Before that, in a big victory for pro-life advocates, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Judge Lee Yeakel of the Western District Court in Austin and restored key portions of a pro-life law in Texas that will ultimately stop abortions. Abortion clinics appealed that decision to the Supreme Court and Justice Scalia issued a ruling saying the high court would not stop the law while the case continued.
Then, this month, a panel of three judges in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit released its ruling upholding HB2, Texas’ Pro-Life law, which took full effect in October of last year. The opinion affirms the constitutionality of the legislation passed last summer and rejects Planned Parenthood’s argument that HB2 places an “undue burden” upon abortionists, abortion facilities, and women seeking abortion.
As with the previous lawsuit, the ban on abortions after 20-weeks was not challenged.
AP has more details on the new suit:
An advocacy group filed another federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging a new provision in Texas’ tough restrictions on abortion, less than a week after a federal appeals court reversed a previous suit and found that the stricter limits don’t impose an undue burden on women’s health.
The Center for Reproductive Rights asked an Austin-based judge to block enforcement of key portions of the law, including some which have yet to take effect.
The suit is the first of its kind to challenge a provision of the law beginning Sept. 1 which mandates that all abortions, even those induced using medication, take place in an ambulatory surgical center. The suit says the requirement would force clinics to undertake upgrades of their facilities that are so costly that all but “fewer than 10 clinics” in a state with 13 million women would close. Currently, 24 clinics provide abortions across Texas.
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Since October, the law has required abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of the clinic where they perform the procedure, that they follow strict instructions for pill-induced medical abortions and only perform abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy if the health of the mother is in danger or the fetus is not viable.
As with the previous suit, this one challenges the admitting privileges provision, this time on behalf of Whole Woman’s Health in McAllen and Reproductive Health Services in El Paso, which the Center for Reproductive Rights says may close despite being “among the last, if not the only, providers offering abortion care in their communities.”